Some of the biggest movers and shakers in the financial world, are gathering at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy symposium, in the state of Wyoming.
The event kicks off on Friday, but it is already moving markets. This year, talks will focus on fostering a dynamic global economy.
Karina Huber reports from Jackson Hole.
There are representatives of central banks from more than 40 countries, countless economists and academics meeting in the Jackson Lake Lodge over the next few days.
On Friday morning, Janet Yellen, the Chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Reserve will be giving the opening remarks. But the real person to watch is Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, who will be speaking at 1 pm mountain time.
With the economy improving and unemployment falling in Europe the big question is whether the ECB will pull back further on its 60 billion Euro a month bond buying program to help stimulate the economy.
Any hints at a pullback could push the Euro higher. Among the other topics to be discussed is income inequality which has risen in many parts of the world since the global financial crisis.
That conversation is happening in a state whose nickname is the equality state – a name it adopted after becoming the first state in the nation to give women the vote in 1869. But in more recent years, it’s becoming known for its inequality – Wyoming is home to America’s least equal city in terms of income.
In 2013, the average annual income of Jackson’s top one percent was nearly $20-million. That is still a lot, but even those making close to $100,000 a year have a hard time finding housing in Jackson.
Service workers who rely on the minimum wage, among the lowest of any state in the nation, have an even tougher time. The unlucky often resort to extreme measures to stay.
You’ll see families with young children crammed into trailers. Others camp out in the surrounding parklands. Some even live out of their cars.
In winter, motels rent rooms to lower-income residents by the week, or month. Others have moved to the neighboring state of Idaho, commuting to Jackson over treacherous mountain passes.
The super wealthy are attracted to this region for its gorgeous vistas but also because there is no state income tax here. So long as that continues, Jackson Hole is only likely to see its income disparity grow.
For more on what to expect from the Jackson Hole symposium. CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Hung Tran, the Executive Managing Director at the Institute of International Finance.